by Elena Masterova, MA student in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy
The most fascinating thing about CEU and its academic environment is its incredible level of diversity, which strongly correlates with the quality of obtained knowledge for several reasons.
First, CEU trains the brightest students from all over the world who come from diverse cultural and social backgrounds, which creates opportunities for looking at each new question from completely different perspectives during in-class discussions and group tasks. But it’s not only different cultural backgrounds that play a role, but also that students come from various academic fields. For instance, my colleagues from the Environmental Sciences and Policy Department have study experiences in environmental studies, biology, engineering, economics and humanities as well. Having all these people in the same class helps you study particular issues from various academic points of view you might never have studied yourself.
Second, but no less important, is the pedagogical collective itself. The teachers themselves also come from different backgrounds and were trained in various fields, which is why they use a diversity of learning techniques to train our critical thinking, logic and ability to prove our opinions by advancing adequate arguments.
In addition to the teaching staff’s diversity and their high level of professionalism, I would also like to note that due to the relatively small size of classes, teachers and supervisors are able to pay more attention to each student , which reflects positively on the quality of academical knowledge, and that leads me to believe that CEU is a truly unique place to study.
The third point is the interdisciplinary approach to learning itself that CEU encourages. The curriculum for my program (Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management) includes a wide range of academic subjects related to both natural sciences, and to social sciences such as policy, economics, management. These prepare us with the ability to use research methods tools, which are highly important for the future career paths of young researchers.
To sum everything up, diversity among the faculty members and students intertwined with an interdisciplinary approach is what makes CEU's academic atmosphere truly unique for young and passionate students.